When you take your semi-truck in for a repair or tune-up, you want to feel confident that the shop will fix the root of your problem, not just treat the symptoms. After all, your semi-truck is an essential aspect of your business and livelihood. But with more than 78,000 truck repair businesses in the United States (as of 2019), it can be difficult to narrow down the search and find a trustworthy, reliable, and convenient repair shop that will get the job done right the first time around.
We know that getting back on the road safely and quickly is a priority for your trucking business. So, with extensive experience in the truck repair industry, we’ve put together this article to help you find a semi-truck repair shop that provides top-quality services — one you can trust. Once you’ve done your research and know exactly what you’re looking for, contact us for Portland semi truck repair services that will exceed your expectations.
Finding a Good Semi Truck Repair Shop
The key to finding a great semi-truck repair shop is to do exactly what you are doing right now: careful research. Semi-truck repairs can be expensive — in fact, truck maintenance and repairs are estimated to cost around $15,000 annually — so you want to make sure the investment is worth your while.
So, where to begin? Start by putting together a list of repair shops in your area. It’s a good idea to seek recommendations from people you know, especially from other semi-truck owners in your network. You should also research and read reviews online. Recent customer reviews will tell you a lot about what you need to know to make an informed decision. Another place to check is the Better Business Bureau website, for details such as how long the shop has been in business, their overall rating, and any formal complaints that may have been filed against them.
Once you have a narrowed down list of shops, you can request estimates or quotes from each of them (at least three is recommended). Compare not only the quotes themselves and how detailed they are but also the customer service you receive and your overall experience interacting with the shop. Visiting a few shops in person is an extra step, but you can learn a lot by meeting the mechanics in person, talking to them about the diagnosis of the problem, and seeing the shop.
Keep reading for red flags and what to look out for during the search process!
Semi Truck Repair Shop: Red Flags to Avoid
When it comes to semi-truck collision and repair work, there are two problems commonly faced by fleet managers. First, hidden damage can exist but go unnoticed to the untrained or inexperienced mechanic’s eye. Secondly, this results in a final bill far above what was reflected in the initial estimate.
Before we get into specifically what to look for in a repair shop, here are some red flags to avoid during your search process:
- Unclear diagnosis of the problem.
- No quote or estimate provided.
- A quote or estimated is provided, but it lacks detail or is unclear/vague.
- Poor customer service.
- Difficult to get ahold of or unresponsive.
- No warranties provided.
- Negative reviews or no reviews online.
- The use of scare tactics or too much pressure.
- No information found on the Better Business Bureau directory of businesses.
In short, trust your gut and if you don’t feel confident in the shop and their abilities, keep looking elsewhere. Overlooking these warning signs will only lead to more problems down the road!
Signs of a Trustworthy Repair Shop
In general, you want a shop that is experienced, transparent (detailed and open in their diagnosis, quote, and communications with you), responsive, and willing to go above and beyond with each and every service they provide. More specifically, you should look out for the following things during your search for a great semi truck repair shop:
- Industry Experience: You’ll probably want a shop with at least a decade of repairing semi-trucks under their belt, and a team of highly-trained, experienced mechanics that will be working on your vehicle. Ideally, they’ll have varied experience working on a range of different semi-truck makes and models.
- Proper Licensing & Certifications: Certified mechanics will have received specialized training on specific types of car repair and maintenance. Ideally, the shop will only hire certified mechanics who have completed rigorous training.
- A Wide Range of Repair Services: In case more problems arise during the repair process or again in the future, you want to find a shop that can handle all the repairs and maintenance under one roof.
- A Large Inventory of Parts: You don’t want unexpected or unnecessary delays due to the shop having to order and wait for new parts to arrive.
- Large Capacity: The more technicians and service bays at the shop, the faster the turnaround time will likely be for the repairs.
- Top-Notch Facilities: You want a semi-truck repair shop with state-of-the-art equipment, great facilities, and modern technology and equipment. Visiting in person can give you a better sense of how clean and organized the shop is.
- Convenient Payment Options: The ability to make payments easily and conveniently online will make the whole repair process smoother and avoid unnecessary delays.
- Towing Services: Great repair shops often partner with towing services or offer them in-house to be able to respond to breakdowns or emergencies on the road.
- Location: Look for a shop in your area that is easily accessible and convenient for you.
- Good Reputation: As mentioned above, positive online reviews and word-of-mouth recommendations are a great sign and will help you find a trustworthy repair shop.
- Availability: Accidents and breakdowns happen outside of a normal 9-5 workday, so you’ll want a shop that is available and responsive in case of emergencies.
Although the price and affordability of the repairs is certainly an important factor to consider, you need to pay attention to so much more if you want to find a trustworthy shop and avoid more complex or recurring problems with your semi-truck down the line.
Semi Truck Repair Shop: Questions to Ask
To take your due diligence a step further, below are a few questions you can ask the repair shop to help get a better sense of their understanding of the problem and what you can expect from them:
- Is the semi-truck repair shop certified and licensed?
- Are the mechanics who will be working on your truck certified?
- Can they provide a detailed quote or estimate?
- What is their hourly rate?
- What exactly is causing the problem with your semi-truck?
- Is it worth it, or necessary, to have this repair done?
- How long do they expect the repair(s) to take?
- Do they expect that this repair will require any follow-up maintenance?
- Do they offer warranties on their work?
- Was there anything you could have done to avoid needing this repair?
If their answers are clear, informative, knowledgeable, and inspire confidence that they’ll get the repairs done right, you’ve probably found a winner!
Portland Oregon Semi Truck Repair Shop
In summary, be sure to take your time finding a knowledgeable and trustworthy semi-truck repair shop that will get things done quickly and correctly the first time around. Their goal should be to address the root of the problem and get your semi-truck back on the road as swiftly and as safely as possible!
With over 15 years of fleet service experience, our Van and Truck Collision Repair Department in Portland is staffed and equipped to handle any and all of your repair semi-truck needs. We are experienced in handling all sizes of vehicles, and a wide range of makes and models, from F150’s to Pete 375’s, box trucks, trailers, and more.
At PTC, we will do a thorough inspection prior to providing you with a clear and detailed estimate. We know exactly what to look for, and we want to take all the mystery out of your repair. Our commitment to honest communication makes all the difference. Fill out our quick form to request a quote and we’ll contact you to schedule an inspection and get you back on the road in no time!